Interleukin 7 (IL-7) is a common gamma chain receptor cytokine implicated in thymopoiesis and in peripheral expansion and survival of T lymphocytes. The safety and activity of recombinant human IL-7 (rhIL-7) administration were therefore examined in HIV-infected persons. In this prospective randomized placebo-controlled study, a single subcutaneous dose of rhIL-7 was well tolerated with biologic activity demonstrable at 3 μg/kg and a maximum tolerated dose of 30 μg/kg. Injection site reactions and transient elevations of liver function tests were the most notable side effects. Transient increases in plasma HIV-RNA levels were observed in 6 of 11 IL-7-treated patients. Recombinant hIL-7 induced CD4 and CD8 T cells to enter cell cycle; cell-cycle entry was also confirmed in antigen-specific CD8 T cells. Administration of rhIL-7 led to transient down-regulation of the IL-7 receptor alpha chain (CD127) in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Single-dose rhIL-7 increased the numbers of circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, predominantly of central memory phenotype. The frequency of CD4 + T cells with a regulatory T-cell phenotype (CD25high CD127low) did not change after rhIL-7 administration. Thus, rhIL-7 has a biologic and toxicity profile suggesting a potential for therapeutic trials in HIV infection and other settings of lymphopenia. This clinical trial has been registered at http:// www.clinicaltrials.gov under NCT0099671.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology